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Another Fuel Smell Question...


bento

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Sorry, but I have another fuel smell question to add to the numerous threads I found with a few different search attempts. I had no luck finding an answer to this particular issue.

I have a very strong smell of raw fuel (not exhaust fumes) in the trunk when I first open it, and in the car while driving.

Definite signs of a leak based on the residue in this photo;

post-47476-0-76442200-1412446442_thumb.j

I'll replace the o-ring on the sender unit regardless, but here's my question; is the fuel pickup line in the sender a separate piece or should it be integrated? I can move it around a bit and when I do so, I can hear the pickup knocking around inside the sender/tank. Should this line have any free play in it? Is this likely to be a source of my leak? I'm guessing 'no' and 'yes', respectively but would appreciate confirmation.

Additional photo for reference;

post-47476-0-92693200-1412446762_thumb.j

If I'm correct above, do I need to replace the whole sender assembly or can this one be fixed? It seems to work fine otherwise. The realoem images seem to indicate its just one assembly.

Thanks!

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The fuel smell in my trunk came from hooking the fuel return line back up, without noticing that the vent line that went to the charcoal canister had been plugged.  There was no place for the fuel pressure to vent.  I got a whoosh of air when I took the cap off to fill up.  I guess I 'pressure tested' my system.  Probably not your problem, but I like to tell the story... just in case.

 

As for this question:

 

Should this line have any free play in it?

 

 

 

I just went up and checked mine.  There is no free play.  It looks like the line out is soldered to the sender.  If everything works, I would take it out and solder it up and put it back... because it sounds like fun... and it'd be free... but that's just me.

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Thanks for checking. That confirms my suspicion.

My time is limited in the garage and I have many things I want to accomplish so I'll probably just order a new sender. Hate to throw away an otherwise functional $100 part though. I guess my old sender could be saved as a spare and I can take a shot at soldering it as a mid-winter project when I'm in the mood to tinker.

Thanks again. I'll post up after I get the new sender is to close out this thread for future reference.

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Call me a hack, but you could try and clean it up really well and lay a nice 'bead' of JBWeld around the outlet.  I'll bet that would work for years to come.  Everybody has a different time/money equation and I am sure you will make the right decision.  Carry on.   :)

Hmmm... If nothing else, it could be a temporary fix while I wait for parts, or at least eliminate this as a potential source of fumes. It also wouldn't require removal of the sender or the replacement o-ring I don't have yet.

I'll give this a try tomorrow. Thanks for the idea!

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Check for a sleeve between the sending unit outlet pipe and fuel line hose. If it is cracked or missing (common problem reported here), fuel smell will be strong and the pump will draw air and not enough fuel. When replacing the sending unit o ring- put a light coating of petroleum jelly on it first. This should help prevent the ring from tearing while you turn the sending unit and also help prevent leaks until gas splashes on the ring (making it swell and seal better).

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If the outlet pipe is broken, I would replace the entire unit (even with a used one), instead of trying to fix the pipe yourself. Does your car still have the two rear trunk boards? The one that covers the tank helps prevent cargo from damaging the sending unit - specifically the pipe! Be careful when loading heavy objects (like tool boxes, M10 engines and trannies) in the trunk.

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Check for a sleeve between the sending unit outlet pipe and fuel line hose. If it is cracked or missing (common problem reported here), fuel smell will be strong and the pump will draw air and not enough fuel. When replacing the sending unit o ring- put a light coating of petroleum jelly on it first. This should help prevent the ring from tearing while you turn the sending unit and also help prevent leaks until gas splashes on the ring (making it swell and seal better).

No sleeve joining the lines. The rubber fuel hose is just jammed over the plastic line and hose clamped in place. I thought this was strange but not knowing any better, I moved on... I'll have to research where to source one of these sleeves.

I might have a few problems back there. One of the filler neck band clamps was super loose, too.

Good tip on lubricating the o-ring. Thanks!

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If the outlet pipe is broken, I would replace the entire unit (even with a used one), instead of trying to fix the pipe yourself. Does your car still have the two rear trunk boards? The one that covers the tank helps prevent cargo from damaging the sending unit - specifically the pipe! Be careful when loading heavy objects (like tool boxes, M10 engines and trannies) in the trunk.

I still have the trunk boards. Noted on taking extra care when pressing my '02 into hauling duties. I can't imagine myself putting much weight back there but I can see how that pipe would be vulnerable. Those boards probably weren't very sturdy when new. 40 years of moisture and load bearing would take their toll, too.

Saving $100 is appealing but only if it works...

Thanks again for the tips!

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I believe the sleeve Jim is talking about is/was on the metal outlet tube (that broke loose on yours), basically increasing the size of the tube which the hose attaches to.  The hose is typically just clamped onto the plastic fuel line.  At least you are not looking at the original cloth covered forty year old fuel line, like I found in my trunk. 

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I believe the sleeve Jim is talking about is/was on the metal outlet tube (that broke loose on yours), basically increasing the size of the tube which the hose attaches to.  The hose is typically just clamped onto the plastic fuel line.  At least you are not looking at the original cloth covered forty year old fuel line, like I found in my trunk. 

Thanks for the clarification and agreed; I'll count my blessings. So many things done wrong or neglected on this car by previous owners, at least one of them replaced all the fuel lines fairly recently.

The original fabric line is still in place on the plastic expansion tank under the parcel shelf. I'll probably swap that out with fresh fuel hose as well.

The sleeve appears to come with the new sender based on the Bav Auto photo. Hopefully that isn't just a cap.

Can't copy/paste from mobile...

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